My friends Amy and Lessie challenged me to choose a word for the upcoming year, a practice that they’ve been doing for several years, borrowed from a tradition Lessie’s family has practiced for even longer. This word is supposed to provide focus, an anchor, something to be intentional about for the next 12 months. In the process of choosing, you’re supposed to consider your goals and the kind of person you want to be. Amy said that the process requires self-examination and introspection, and she told me that she thought it would be good for me to choose a word.
Sometimes having friends who were also psych majors can be a major pain in the butt. Because it means I have friends in my life who are also people who like to think and who like to be challenged to become even better versions of themselves. It means that sometimes I get challenged. Having friends who were also psych majors means that I value their perspective and consider things I wouldn’t otherwise and that, more often than not, I listen to them. In this case, specifically, it means I’m choosing a word for 2012.
This afternoon I decided that my word needs to be PRIORITY.
I think I spent too much time in 2011 worked up about things that didn’t matter. I put too much of myself into too many relationships that drained me, and I extended too much energy to activities that offered little in return. I ran too many conversations with too many people in my head, and then never had those conversations in real life. I was too angry and too anxious to sleep most nights, and I had too many migraines and too much heartburn. And I spent too much time not being present with people who deserved my full attention. I refuse to let these things be true of the new year.
So, in 2012, I’m making priorities. I’m letting myself set boundaries about who and what gets my time, and energy, and attention. I’m actually going to be intentional about asking, “Is [person or thing] something I want to give priority in my life?” If can’t say “yes,” then 2012 will also mark the start of something really new for me… saying no.
Have you thought about choosing a word for 2012? If you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to give it some thought. If you have, let’s chat about it. What’s your word and what made you choose it?